There are certainly lots of hockey academies to choose from all over the country, TPH being one of the bigger ones -- almost like a franchise model. If you\'re cool with online school and your kid focusing exclusively on hockey, seems like it offers a good program and development for lots of kids, which is great.
But SSM and MSC seem like different animals to me. (Along with the likes of Northwood, South Kent, and Culver.) First off, they\'re attached to brick and mortar schools. The school experience is in-person and more traditional, offering a more well-rounded high school experience, which is appealing to many families.
And these schools, SSM and MSC in particular, also cater to the very, very top players. Starting at 14U, they recruit the top kids across the US and Canada. They are essentially birth year all-star teams. The top kids are attracted to playing with top kids. I think it\'s less about \"connections\" and more about the perceived prestige of being among the \"chosen ones.\" Yeah, that may be a dumb notion, especially when talking about 14 year-old kids, but that\'s what those schools are selling to kids, and they have the tradition, alumni, and track records to back it up.
It also seems silly to say there is no development at these schools. Of course there is. The coaches are good. The kids are on the ice and working out every day. And they compete against other top kids. How do they not develop?
What\'s a more interesting debate relative to SSM, MSC and other academies is how good it is for the kids who are in the middle or bottom of the roster? No doubt those kids are solid players, but would they be better served going elsewhere?
Some of the kids will develop and potentially become top players as they get older and move up the ranks of the SSM and MSC teams. But, and this is just an opinion based on observations over the past couple years, SSM and MSC seem to be great for the very best players and a less great for everyone else.
Bottom line is if you\'re a great player at TPH or SSM, you\'re going to have lots of opportunities. If you\'re an average player, you\'re not. So hopefully you have a great high school experience wherever you end up playing...
I would say this is probably the most accurate post on this thread. I think it’s discredits the amount some of the depth players develop though.
Take MSC 06 team for example, JH, JP are headed to the NTDP, WF and SB are tendered in the USHL. That creates a ton of opportunity for those depth F’s and D to play a bigger role for 16’s, more guys will head to the Jr ranks after next year creating more opportunity for guys at 18’s
Agree with most of this as well but for MSC if you are a depth f or d at u16 you probably aren’t being asked back for u18… they don’t stop recruiting and are happy for you to go play elsewhere if they can find someone better.